What is a little pee?

With only getting time aboard about once per month, upon arrival there is a routine I have to “exerciser” the systems. The pumps (fresh water and HVAC), the thru-hulls, the engine fluids, and the critical head test and purge. Guess what failed…

The starboard head bowl filled nicely with seawater. The evacuation, not so much. Great, one more project to tackle. Hopefully it is something simple like a corroded switch. Break out the multi-meter and find power is happily flowing to the motor. Taking off the cover I find some rust on the motor and can feel the motor torque when the switch is pressed. Seems she is done locked up.

What to do. What to do. Finally the decision is made to disconnect the outlet hose and remove the defective motor. Knowing it is filled with seawater and pee I took some solace in the fact that no solids will be flowing out…

Armed with rags and a bucket I take on the futile attempt of controlling the flow before succumbing to the fact that I would be standing in a puddle of urine. Next up removal of the six screws/nuts holding to motor to the toilet. After cleaning up the mess, wiping down my feet with anti-bacterial wipes, I have the needed tools. Almost. Five of the six screws are accessible, however the sixth is on the bottom of the motor and a long Philips screwdriver is needed. More cleaning and trips to look for the something that would reach leads to the disappointment that I don’t have right right tool.

If I had a car and was in San Diego this would be a non-event. But in Ensenada there aren’t any hardware stores that jump to mind. Asking around I hear about a place about three miles away. A long walk. Deciding to try near Sexta instead I head off. First stop, a couple screwdrivers but nothing long enough. Second place has school supplies on the sign but it is the ticket. They have a good selection and a couple pesos later I am all set and back to the boat. That only took 90 minutes and netted me a fish taco and a screwdriver!

Back aboard I realized now the screwdriver is too long. Ugh. Nothing is ever easy. Out comes the Dremel and a few minutes later the end is chopped off and happily now fits.

Now that I have a screwdriver I need to figure out how to get a wrench on the nut with a tiny amount of space between the motor and the floor. I tried jamming shims underneath, filing down wrenches, a socket – all to no success. It was not to be…maybe with a piece of angle iron and a Dremeled 9/32 slot for the nut I can get it off. But for today I am done.

Boat projects where something simple takes three hours and still not be fixed. Fun!

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